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Unknown disease continues to stalk cattle

Source: Chronicle News Service / R Lester Makang


Ukhrul, November 11 2021: While the state authorities are yet to identify the nature of the outbreak of an unknown cattle disease, it has continued to kill more water buffaloes of Asiatic breed in remote villages under Ukhrul district's Chingai sub-division.

The mysterious death of buffaloes was first spotted in Tusom village on October 2 this year.

The cattle were found dead mysteriously in the open field which are traditional grazing sites for the village.

Since then, the unidentified disease continued to wreak havoc in the region.

According to Northern Raphei Students' Union (NRSU) president Joy Horam, as many as 256 Asiatic water buffaloes have died due to the disease in the remote border villages including Wahong, New Tusom, Tusom CV, Tusom Khullen, Kharasom and Razai Khullen.

Out of the cattle fatalities, 97 cases have been reported in Wahong village; 80 in New Tusom village, 21 in Tusom CV, three in Tusom Khullen, 25 in Kharasom and 30 in Razai Khullen village, he informed.

The number of cattle dying from the unknown disease is said to be growing, and the villagers are helpless.

"We request the authorities concerned to identify the cause of the mysterious death of the animals at the earliest and to provide proper medication to the live stocks," Horam said.

Horam maintained that it's been more than a month now since the State Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department collected samples of the dead cattle for testing in early October.

However, till date, the department has not provided any information on the cause of the continued fatalities of the animals.

It may be recalled that on October 5 last, Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum dispatched a five-member team of Veterinary department from Imphal to the affected region to examine the sudden death of buffaloes.

The team had collected samples from the carcasses for testing and had assured the locals that the result would be known after testing in Imphal.

Horam continued that the outbreak of the unidentified disease has severely affected the economy of the poor villagers.

He said that apart from agriculture, rearing of cattle like cows and buffaloes is one of the main sources of income for majority of villagers in the district.

"A matured water buffalo costs around Rs 1 lakh.

The death of the cattle is a big loss for the farmers".

He then urged the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department to have utmost concern and take up preventive measures, along with creating awareness on protecting domesticated animals in the interest of the poor farmers.

Horam also appealed to the state authorities to provide assistance to the farmers/cattle owners whose live stocks have been destroyed by the disease.

Buffalo death was also reported in neighbouring Nagaland state recently, where the cause was found to be "haemorrhagic septicemia".

However, the cause of the cattle deaths in the district is yet to be established.